A report recently published by the European Audiovisual Observatory looks at the various mechanisms currently available for specifically searching for audiovisual content on the Web. An Observatory press release notes that the report focuses on search engines and electronic program guides, “‘virtual librarians’ that allow us to seek and find video content according to key words and other search criteria.
“Given the centralizing role of these electronic search mechanisms and their virtual monopoly as a gateway to online information, the Observatory has chosen to ask some very fundamental questions about their technical and legal parameters. What is the likelihood that these search tools can be standardized according to universal systems? What freedom of information parameters do they respect in selecting the information they supply? How does European legislation apply to their operation? Who, if anyone, can adequately define a legal framework for search mechanisms for audiovisual content on the Web?”